Construction & Design / Investment / Starting Out

Legal requirements series Part 3 – holiday rentals with pools

Holiday rentals with outdoor pools are sought after by guests, and do very well for their owners. Chalets with indoor pools generate very healthy returns on investment, as they can achieve bookings all year round. Extra facilities in and around the chalet mean bad weather needn’t have such a negative impact!

Certainly, pools increase the fun factor however, they must conform to strict laws and safety guidelines.

Part 3 of our legal requirements series highlights the laws and guidelines relating to setting up pools in holiday rental properties.

1. Safety equipment

Holiday rental properties with a submerged, or partially submerged swimming pool, must provide at least 1 out of 4 of the following :

  • A protective barrier
  • A safety cover 
  • A shelter (ie a conservatory-type structure that covers the entire pool)
  • An audible alarm

Pool safety equipment must comply with the standards set by Afnor “Association française de normalisation” – the French association for setting standards.

IMPORTANT – In the event of not complying with the obligation to equip a swimming pool with a safety system, owners risk a fine of up to €45,000.

Rental properties with pools - Manoir de leschaux
The huge pool at the Manoir de Leschaux is available to guests in the summer.

The pool supplier is legally obliged to provide technical documentation on delivery. The document must reference:

  • the characteristics of the pool
  • the operating and maintenance conditions of the chosen safety system
  • recommended general preventive measures to avoid risks of drowning
Rental properties with pools - Chalet Nougat has a shared indoor pool.
The indoor pool at Chalet Nougat is shared with guests staying in sister property Chalet Caramel. In fact, the pool house is between the two chalets and accessible from both.

2. Appropriate insurance cover

Owners must inform their insurance company that their holiday rental offering includes a pool.

Additionally, find out if the insurance company has any extra requirements or exclusions relating to the use of a pool.

Rental properties with pools - Lodge la Source has an indoor pool with amazing views.
The views of the Aravis mountains from the indoor pool at Lodge La Source.

3. Technical preparations

Pools at holiday rentals are classified as “shared pools”. The technical regulations governing the safe use of shared pools are strict. Owners must ensure that:

  • Flooring and surfaces (including inside the pool) are not hazardous ie slippery or abrasive.
  • The risk potential of any owner supplied equipment, must be assessed, displayed and pointed out to guests.
  • Guidelines for safe use of the pool should be clearly visible. Furthermore, Managers need to run through safety guidelines with arriving guests.
  • Minimum and maximum depths must be displayed, and legible from the decks and the pool itself. NB Your pool supplier may supply display quality guidelines.
  • Easy to reach, “punch” emergency shutdown devices must be clearly visible and installed next to pools.
Rental properties with pools - The outdoor pool at Chalet Beauvoir 12.
The outdoor pool at Chalet Beauvoir 12 is heated all year round!

4. Regulations for safe use of “shared pools”

  • Pools are not to be used if the water becomes cloudy such that the pool bottom is no longer visible.
  • Please note – Pools with hydraulic installations (i.e. water outlets, chutes, artificial wave generators) have extra specific safety instructions. Your supplier will have more details.
  • There are also specific safety instructions regarding water slides, diving boards, whirlpools and artificial water currents. Your supplier will have more details.

For the definitive French government issued guidelines regarding setting up pools in rental properties, click on the button below ( French only).

5. Attention to detail

Here are just a few of the extra touches some of our owners with pools provide for their happy guests:

  • shower and wc facilities close to the pool
  • separate pool towels
  • dressing gowns
  • free slippers or Crocs
  • unbreakable or disposable cups for use around the pool area
  • screens to keep outdoor pool use private
  • security systems to ensure kids cannot enter indoor pool areas without adult supervision
  • hooks for dressing gowns, towels etc

6. Common sense?

In conclusion, we have focused on owners’ legal responsibilities when preparing pools in holiday rentals.

You should adapt your guest information to suit your particular installation and make sure your manager is able to share the information efficiently.

Ensure that you provide a clear sign with the pool rules on it in your property.

For peace of mind, provide appropriate guidelines for acceptable and prohibited behaviour to ensure the safety of all guests too.

We hope this blog has been informative. Links to our series about legal requirements when setting up a holiday rental property are below.

Part 1– covers registering your rental property with the local commune, and, how to declare and pay the local tourist tax. We also briefly introduced the official classification of rental properties. 

Part 2 – covers other registrations and licenses required.

Part 4 – will look at recommendations for the safe use of hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms in rental properties.

If you’re considering setting up your own rental business, see how much you could earn below:

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Insights on running a holiday rental property, expert opinions and the latest industry news all sent straight to your inbox